Babar Azam has 24 centuries in international cricket, sixth in the all-time list of Pakistani cricketers with the most centuries on the international stage.
Since making his competitive debut for the senior team in 2015, Azam has notched 17 of his 23 international tons in a match-winning cause, and his most recent triple-figure score aided Pakistan’s historic 2-1 ODI series win over Australia at home.
While there are no signs of stopping Babar Azam from eventually breaking Younis Khan’s national record of 41 centuries in international cricket, we look at the progress chart of Pakistan’s ‘Virat Kohli’ in the last seven years.
2015-2018: Babar Azam’s maiden ton
Babar Azam’s international cricket debut came in an ODI match against Zimbabwe and showed a glimpse of a promising future with a half-century. The top-order batter, however, had to wait until 2016 to notch his maiden international century in any format.
Babar Azam hit his first century in the first match of the 2016 ODI series against the West Indies and went on to hit triple figures in the next two games as well. All ended up in a match-winning cause.
He hit four centuries in 2017, all in ODIs. In 2018, Babar Azam registered the first of his six Test centuries against New Zealand while his side eventually lost the match by 123 runs. The Test century followed the unbeaten 106* Azam scored against Zimbabwe.
2019: Babar Azam goes into overdrive
2019 is by far the most productive year in Babar Azam’s cricket career, as he registered 2,082 runs in 36 international cricket matches. He hit six centuries, three each in ODIs and Tests, and finished as the leading run-getter for the Pakistan cricket team in all formats that year.
2020-2021: Babar Azam’s form dips
Having scored in excess of 1,000 runs across all formats between 2016 and 2019, Babar Azam’s form took a dip in 2020 as he managed just 835 runs in 15 matches. His two tons came in a Test against Bangladesh (143) and an ODI against Zimbabwe (125).
Azam would bounce back to form in 2021, with a 139-ball 158 in an ODI against England and two tons (122 - T20I, 103 - ODI) in the multi-format tour of South Africa.
Just 10 matches into the latest calendar year, Babar Azam has notched four international centuries. After scoring an impressive 196 that helped the hosts draw the second Test against Australia, Azam smashed back-to-back centuries to inspire Pakistan to a 2-1 ODI series win over the Aussies. He later hit another ton against West Indies in the first ODI of the three-match series at Multan Cricket Stadium.
Babar Azam’s centuries in international cricket: Know them all
Author: William Paul
Featured photo: AFP / ARIF ALI